Maybe only about seven people outside of Los Angeles care about the particular turn of events we're about to dish on, but the real estate telephone wires in Lala Land have been burning up with scandal the last few days and we feel like opening up a line of discussion on the matter amongst any concerned, curious or otherwise nosy citizens.
Your Mama first heard this juicy bit of bizness last Friday while holed up at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs where we hid out for a few extra (and unplanned) days from the dusty and near-deafening construction zone that was–and still is–Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter's modest cottage in the Hollywood Hills.
From what Your Mama heard from some of our better connected sources over the last few days, Sotheby's International Realty semi-quietly and unceremoniously handed back the once-plum listing for the entire W Hollywood Residences project, a brand-new residential condominium tower in the heart Hollywood connected to the brand new, a-bit-too-glitzy and highly-stylized W Hotel Hollywood on the storied corner of Hollywood and Vine.
In an effort at journalistic integrity, Your Mama reached out to Russ Filice, the well-known lead agent from Sotheby's on the project, who would only confirm that S.I.R. will no longer be involved with the W Hollywood Residences after the 15th of April.
At that point, it seems, the high-toned brokerage will wash their hands of the not exactly successful project that has not exactly been embraced by the real estate community and the sorts of snooty design-philes who give two whits about the newly constructed hotel/condo complex. Well-heeled buyers have also, it seems, rejected the high-priced condominium because according to two of Your Mama's informants only 10 of the 143 luxury units have closed escrow. Those bone marrow-chilling numbers sound even worse when y'all consider that the W Hollywood Residences have been on the market for around a year and a half. Boo! Does that scare the real estate daylights out of anyone else?
Although we once gobbled up a couple of delicious gin & tonics in the grandiosely-scaled lobby of the W Hotel with our pal Leeahndruh Livesinahightower, Your Mama asks that all the children keep in mind that we have never stepped foot in one of the condos. Not. One. Foot. What we're saying, of course, is that we don't know diddly squat about we're talking about here. Okay? Anyhoo, on with the show anyway. According to more than one big-shit real estate agent we know in Los Angeles, the W Hollywood Residences contain far too many very expensive units–they range from around $450,000 to $3,500,000 for a penthouse pad–that feature impossibly awkward and poorly positioned elements such as structural columns running up the center of rooms. The children might be amused and/or outraged to know that there are not, according to plans presented on project's website, any closets in the (one) bedroom of unit 4L. Nearly half a million clams for a one-bedroom crib in the heart Hollywood and Your Mama has to parade our fat ol' ass past the plate-glass windows in the living room to snatch on a pair of knickers? Uh, no.
Those sorts of architectural bungles and snafus tend to really perturb deep-pocketed potential buyers looking at fancy contemporary condos with–an agent pal we know snitched–high monthly fees of more than $1.10 per square foot. Adding insult to the injury of high maintenance fees are the (allegedly) shrinking building services that conspire to keep the caps on the escrow paper signing pens of potential buyers. Por ejemplo: well-to-do residents of the condos, we were told by an informant in a position to know, we're promised private valet services. But alas, abysmal sales have resulted in reduced revenues that have in turn forced cuts in the white-glove-y services for the condo portion of the complex.
Condo residents, we understand, are now forced to wait in line with hotel guests to have their automobiles brought around by the valet. Imagine, hunny bears, the horror of having to stand behind large-butted Jerry Nebraska in a pair of plaid Bermuda shorts as he waits for the valet to bring around his rented, teal-colored Chevy Lumina. Your Mama does not care to valet our big BMW if we can help it so we wouldn't care much about this parking situation but for many Angelenos for whom valet parking is like a religion, this inconvenience is a revolting proposition.
Making matter worse, we're told, is that some of the staging in one or more of the model units is questionable, an issue that further turns off potential buyers. Yesterday, an admittedly half in the bag neighbor we'll call Willy Winedrinker dished to Your Mama that one of the staged model units has a stripper pole and platform installed in the living room. That's right, a God damn stripper pole. We can not and will not go there, children, so do not even ask Your Mama to get started on this never ever acceptable stripper pole as day-core issue because we will blow a damn gasket.
As far as we know–and we really don't know a pistachio from a vacuum–no replacement has yet to be been chosen to succeed Mister Filice. What remains to be seen, of course, is if there's any real estate agent in Los Angeles who can turn that seemingly sinking ship around before it goes down like the Titanic. Has anyone called toothy and hard-charging Josh Altman (Hilton & Hyland) from Bravo's Million Dollar Listing? Yay? Nay? Anyhoo, We make no predictions, assumptions and assertions about what will transpire but Your Mama is quite certain that all the Real Estate Chicken Littles in Tinseltown peed their pants with glee over the possibility that the much-hyped and greatly-anticipated project might go down in a hot and public conflagration of failure and bankruptcy. We shall see butter churners, we shall see.